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my first cross state bike trip

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my first cross state bike trip

Old 04-21-05, 03:06 PM
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my first cross state bike trip

hey guys. after reading a lot of your posts i am realizing how incredibly unprepared/silly i am being about all of this.
I am simply riding my bike from gainesville, florida to st. augustine, florida (about 80 miles)
I have a really amazing (read: junk) panasonic road bike that i bought from a thrift store for $13.
This bike and I have been through a lot together... and it shows.

i was just looking for any sort of advice you may have for someone who rides her bike everywhere, but has never ridden so far from home.

Thank you!
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Old 04-21-05, 03:20 PM
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Caitlinanne --

Have no fear. Guts and a little chutzpah get you a lot further than a blinged out 2000 dollar touring bike (although the fancy ride might be fun!)

My first tour (3 days out, 3 days back, about 350 miles total) was done with 3 friends when we were about 14 years old. ONe white Schwinn Varsity, one busted Schwinn Varsity (only 5 speeds working), one straight bar Schwinn 5 speed, and one guy on a single speed Schwinn! And He was always way ahead of us. We had back packs, saddle bags, ropes tying everything down, a couple canteens, no real water bottles... and hardly any money. We had a blast. WE stopped frequently for short periods, kept ourselves hydrated at farm pumps

Take the usual measures:
extra tube(s) patch kit, and pump. Some WD-40 or lube is handy to keep the chain running smooth after all the road gunk. Water bottle. If you can take the old horse to the local bike shop for a re-grease and tune-up, that's good. Stay off busy roads. Sunscreen! Helmet. A front bag to hold some snacks- dry fruit, granola, GORP.

I was only in FLA once, but I rekon that's a pretty flat stretch. 80 miles is easily do-able in one day. ARe you going to book a room and then turn around? if the roads are level-ish, 80 miles is a good day but easily done.

Oh yeah... you could train some. if you managed to work up to 30-50 miles in a day, you'd be fine.
(in my youth, we NEVER trained... just got sore on day two and laughed our heads off)

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Old 04-21-05, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by caitlinanne
hey guys. after reading a lot of your posts i am realizing how incredibly unprepared/silly i am being about all of this.
I am simply riding my bike from gainesville, florida to st. augustine, florida (about 80 miles)
I have a really amazing (read: junk) panasonic road bike that i bought from a thrift store for $13.
This bike and I have been through a lot together... and it shows.

i was just looking for any sort of advice you may have for someone who rides her bike everywhere, but has never ridden so far from home.

Thank you!
You aren't silly and you may not be as unprepared as you think. If you were riding across Texas, I'd choose a different bike. Heck, if you were riding across just about any state that is nearly as wide as it is long, I'd use another bike.

But let's put this in perspective. You plan on riding across a nearly flat state for a distance of about 80 miles. If you go slow, you should be able to do that distance in 2 days which is actually a nice pace. If you ride a bit harder, you might be able to cover it in one day. But let's assume you aren't into hammering. Two days means you need shelter, and something to sleep on. You'll need one meal on the road plus 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches. If you want to cold camp you don't even need a stove. You could treat yourself to an evening meal at a restuarant and just buy your breakfast and lunch as you go.

You only need on change of clothes and you might want to take some rain gear. All-in-all a pretty light load. A small set of panniers or even a very large rack trunk could handle it. You will need a rack on the back of the bike to carry this load but after that it's just riding.

Look at your route, find some place to spend the night and go ride. We all started at some level. An overnight trip can be as much of an adventure as 3 months on the road. Go. Ride. Enjoy.
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Old 04-21-05, 07:28 PM
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When I was a kid.14 or thereabouts Schwinn was the bike of choice inexpensive and totally reliable and so very easy to fix
Plus I saw many x country riders pass our house usually riding Schwinns or Raleighs, but Raleighs were the bikes the rich kids rode
I guess based on the rate of inflation a then 75$ Schwinn might be equal to a 400-500$ bike today
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